Archive for June, 2012
- To estimate the value of a function between two points between which it is tabulated.
- During the course of processing some data, and in response to a directive in that data, to fetch data from a different source and process it in-line along with the original data.
- To introduce material to change the meaning of or falsify a text.
Used in a sentence:
- “I allege that he did not simply interpret the passage, no good citizens, he interpolated the passage!” the speaker exclaimed, igniting a series of gasps and no less than one full on hand-to-forehead faint from the standing section.
I was only familiar with the first definition of interpolate, which you may think is odd given my background as a software developer but I assure you it isn’t. Instead the third definition caught my eye as it seems like something I was taught in school, or something that school would tell me not to do, but I don’t seem to remember anyone using the word in that context.
By Nojh Livic
“They’re gaining, Captain!” shouted Rata, the lookout. Captain Brail of the Marukaze cursed quietly to herself as she held the wheel and glanced over her shoulder. The other ship coasted out of the cloud-bank on the same trajectory as the Marukaze. She had hoped to lose their pursuers in the fluffy moist clouds. The Marukaze was one of the fastest ships in the air yet this unknown ship, flying interceptor colors, was at least as fast and had the devil’s own luck.
“Turbines to full and steam to the ready. We’ll rise up!” she ordered, pulling on several levers net to the giant steering wheel.
“That’ll slow us down captain,” her first mate, Wock, advised calmly. Unlike her, he was keeping his eyes forward, both on the air and crew. It often took several eyes to keep a ship on course. While his calm logic was often infuriating during most circumstances, he proved his worth every time they got into scraps like this, which was becoming far to frequent for Brail’s tastes.
“Aye. Direct to sun!” she shouted to the crew. This earned a few glances from the crew, but to their credit they all ran to stations. She was ordering a particularly hazardous maneuver but it was the perfect time for it. Late afternoon and the sun’s angle just fallen far enough off the zenith that the ship could rise high and fly straight into it. If they were quick enough, they could put the Marukaze between the sun and the intercepting ship. With the other ship temporarily blinded, they’d drop into yet another cloud-bank, a fast unpowered drop usually reserved for steam skiffs, not full-sized chopper craft like the Marukaze.
Word of the order spread quickly. The crew, and everything else, needed to be strapped down. Even as they began to rise, preparations were sill underway. They would cut it close. “You’re tied down Captain,” Wock said. She didn’t bother to thank him. If they lived, she would thank him then.
“Navigation!” Brail called out.
“Ten ticks, Captain… Mark!” shouted her second officer, Rata, who was tied to the rigging, his optical equipment strapped to face, back, and arms. The deck had a significant slope now as the Marukaze rose towards the sun. Brail silently counted down the ticks, trusting her crew to be ready and trusting her ship to get them through this. It was an all or nothing maneuver. If the choppers didn’t re-engage after the hard drop, they’d be pancakes.
“GO!” Brail shouted, and pulled back on the steering wheel hard. The deck tipped further, bringing the ship directly in line with the sun. It was blinding to her and the crew, despite the specialized goggles they all wore against the biting wind and glare. A small box, not tied down, crashed into the railing beside officer Wock. Brail ignored it.
“Five, four, three-” Wock had begun the count as soon as she began the maneuver. They would hard drop when he counted to one.
“Captain! They aren’t following!” Rata yelled. His equipment mostly shielded him from the sun’s effect. “They’ve kept course. They’re… they’ll intercept!” Wock finished his count and for a split-second Capitan Brail, premier interceptor of the Red Region skies, was unsure of what to do. If her navigator was right, a hard drop would cause them to collide directly into the other ship. If she pulled out, they’d capture them in under twenty ticks, regardless.
“Captain.” Wock said murmured.
Brail pulled the lever.
From a distance, the Marukaze appeared to deflate. Its primary buoyancy tubes retracted. Primary chopper blades slowed to a still. Navigation sails were pulled flush against the hull of the ship. The ship’s bow, weighted by strapped down equipment, tipped forward. The Marukaze began diving towards the ground.
Almost directly below it, the mystery craft performed the exact same maneuver, its own flight systems retracting or shutting down, save for its rear buoyancy tubes and navigation sails. This tipped it’s own bow down mimicking the Marukaze but made it dived with a slower accelerations. The Marukaze’s captain had failed to predict this outcome. Rather than collide the second ship matched the Marukaze’s uncontrolled dive falling together like two nose diving birds, performing some ancient aeronautical, and idiotic, game of chicken against the ground.
The ground, however, was never known to chicken out.
“Reengage damn you!” Brail growled, pulling the lever for the third ineffectual time. The Marukaze had failed them. The flight systems were not reengaging. The aft flotation tubes had re-inflated but the pressure on the forward tubes was too powerful. It would be a mere tock before they crashed into the ground. The fear on the ship was palpable. Even Wock looked ashen.
Brail had gambled and lost.
“Ahoy! Need a rope!?” a strangely familiar voice called out. Looking up, or sideways if one was oriented ground-ward, Brail saw the occupants of the other ship. Her eyes locked upon a familiar pair of emerald-green she saw regularly, but only when she looked in the mirror.
“Abandon ship!” captain Brail called to her crew without thinking. The other captain called out an order that was mostly lost in the sudden scramble but it conjured weighted cast-lines throw from the other ship. With the ground rushing at both ships, the crew of the Marukaze, captain and all, cut their security lines and scurried over to their former pursers’ ship. The escape was not without peril. Brail heard more than one scream as a crew-member was lost to the merciless sky. Each scream stabbed her heart.
“GO!” Brail heard herself shout, although she knew she hadn’t spoken the words. Around her familiar faces went to work as the unidentified ship’s flight system engaged. Slowly they began to fall under their own power rather than that of gravity.
“Err… damn it,” the other captain was pulling hard on the steering wheeling. The ship was beginning to pull out of its dive but she didn’t have the leverage to sustain the battle against the winds. Brail leapt to the wheel and began to pull with the captain, grunting in effort. Together they got the ship level, missing the ground by a scant tree length. Below them the Marukaze drove itself into the ground, shattering into a pile of wood, metal, and plastics.
There were cheers among both crews as death was once again defied. For a moment they were unified in their relief over not dying. Then, as if someone gave some silent command, the former crew of the Marukaze drew their swords. Yet they were the only ones to do so. What was worse, they found no real targets for the point ends of their weapons, for everyone that surrounded them were friends and allies.
“You can tell your crew to stand down, captain. We mean you no harm,” the other captain suggested. Brail looked up at the captain and saw herself staring back. A little older, perhaps, but definitely captain Brail of the Marukaze. “Welcome to the Sarukame. I’m captain Brail. I’m sure you have a lot of questions. I did too when I was you. So let’s get this bird on a course, brew some tea, and I’ll explain everything. Wock! Take the wheel. I have to go talk to myself for a bit!”
This one is a little clunky I admit it but practice makes perfect and I have a few airship chase scenes in Everlasting I need to gear up for.
- Of or pertaining to a lens.
- Shaped like a biconvex lens.
- Relating to a lenticular image.
Used in a sentence:
- The mine was lenticular which made it harder to spot among the many smoothly curved rocks that made up the landscape.
This falls under another one of those fun words to say. Also steampunk enthusiasts pay attention. This word will help fill out your requisite goggle and lens word quota.
Land for a Leg
By Nojh Livic
Witharl the Conqueror concentrated. With a small expenditure of energy the gauntlet appeared in his hand. He was forced to dodge the force bolts that flew at him before he could slap it onto his arm. The artifact required more energy before it would grow around his hand and arm but he had more than enough. As the gauntlet snapped closed, the small jewels on it began to glow and he felt a rush of energy Witharl grinned.
“You’re going to get it now!” he screamed at his opponent. As if in response, a row trees sprouted from the ground between him and his target, the archmagus Flyr, growing thick and to full maturity within a second. With a swipe of Witharl’s gauntlet covered hand, the trees uprooted themselves and flew through the air. They crushed a small group of ugly humanoids that Flyr had been previously using as a defense against him. Now there was nothing.
He met Flyr’s gaze across the battle field. The archmagus’ grim expression was in direct contrast to his own maniacal grin. “GO!” Witharl screamed and from the ground erupted three humongous land-sharks, biting and burrowing their way through the dirt towards the unprotected old man. Flyr, true to his title, let loose a torrent of spells, striking one shark down with lightning and diverting a second with a localized earthquake that sent it burrowing straight into a large rock. The third land-shark, however, was unimpeded and its large molten teeth closed around the man’s right leg before he could dodge and severed it easily.
Witharl laughed as Flyr crumpled with a scream. The land-shark dived into the earth at his mental command. He wanted to finish off the old man himself. Summoning a small gust of wind, Witharl used it to throw himself at his opponent, bringing up his gauntlet covered fist in order to land he final blow, laughing the entire time. His three-pronged tail and skinless wings whipped in the air behind him as he leapt down upon his prey.
The old human recovered faster than the Conqueror expected, rolling out of the way of the attack. He hadn’t been wallowing in pain but preparing as a bright light shone from the man’s hands. He touched the stump where his leg previously was and out from the already cauterized wound grew a new leg, not flesh and bone, but light and energy. It seemed to reinvigorate the man as he stood quickly, belying his centuries of age.
“You will not take this land or its people, demon!” Flyr snarled, lifting his staff and pointing it at Witharl, who was slowly coming to his feet after the landing heavily. His red stained teeth never disappeared as he spoke.
“I have already taken it, human,” Witharl hissed, spreading his arms wide. “This little spar of ours is just a show, to teach the locals who the real boss is. I appreciate your assistance!” Flyr dared to glance around at the carnage they had wrought. Bodies of bystanders littered the impromptu battlefield, both creatures from their own grimories and natives of the lands Flyr thought he was defending. It obviously pained the human. Witharl had no such weaknesses. “But I can not spend excessive amounts of time on frivolities. Leave this plane now and I’ll be satisfied with your leg.” To punctuate his point, the demon reached down and lifted the old man’s bloody appendage from the jaws of his land-shark that had burrowed to his side. He thought for a moment that the human might accept his offer. Many had, although this particular archmagus seemed far more suicidal than his brethren.
“In the name of the covenant, I shall banish you!” Flyr screamed, charging at him with staff leveled like a spear. Witharl sensed, more than saw, the energy forming around the weapon. He had little time to react. He threw the human’s own leg at the charging archmagus’ head. Taken completely off guard, the meaty appendage hit directly in the face, causing him to stumble and halted his charge. Before his opponent could recover, Witharl charged himself, driving his horns directly at the archmagus’ chest.
They sunk deeply, puncturing the man’s vital organs, before he pulled back, flipping the old man to the ground. Humans were so frail, even the most powerful of them. Witharl wasn’t lying when he said he did not have time to waste, however. Rather than banter more above the dying man, he simply granted him a swift death, using one clawed he other tore out the man’s throat. With a twitch he flicked the blood from his horns and claws, then left his land-shark to clean up the rest.
Witharl had a land to reshape into his own image.
For every tale of the hero, there must be a few forgotten tales of the would e protectors who tried and failed.
Word Count: 1,057+6,695+3,719=11,471
Today was a little tough. I seem to be particularly tired and was yawning all through writing. While I wrote a thousand words I wasn’t really feeling it. You might notice this being posted on a Friday afternoon. That’s because I was tired and didn’t want to write yesterday either. I’m glad I forced myself to today but do wish it had been one of those sessions were words flew out of my finger tips. I suppose they can’t all be like that.
What was like that was last Saturday where I decided to have a Free Write buffer day. I sat down from about noon till after five in the evening and wrote as much flash fiction as I could, to create a nice buffer for the site. One thing that happened out of that particular writing session was that I ended up creating the basis for another short story with two of those pieces of flash fiction, which actually set me back on the buffer I had been trying to write, so I had to do a second writing session the following day, which is where I got most of the buffer done.
Either way the effort of the prior weekend I think more than makes up for today’s session. Tuesday’s session of this week was actually spent editing all of those flash fiction for content and grammar and such, so no actual word count there but it was still productive.
Word Count: 114,164
I wrote all on the same scene today and it was sluggish. It was a scientific scene and it was clear to me I really don’t know what I”m doing when I’m writing those. I actually established a new fact about zombie behavior in this scene however, which I need to write into the bible I have for the story. Scientists are starting to see that there is a significant difference in behaviors between zombies. Of course it took them longer than the guys in the middle of the zombie hordes in the burning city to figure that out but hey, the scientists are sure about their hypothesis. The guys on the ground are just guessing.
I think I hae a massive problem with my story (or at least a new massive one to add) which is that my city is on fire after a giant airship fell on it. This makes the city far more inhospitable than it was before. I’m not sure how believable it is to have the city burning and the heroes survive. Maybe if some of them get burned? I don’t know. I need to think on it, but during editing. Not really right now.
Word Count: 3,719
Right now I want to talk about a new spawn that happened last Saturday. Its working title is Gerald. Say hello Gerald. Gerald is started as a what if piece of flash fiction. What if I wrote a story from the point of view of a creature from a Magic the Gathering game. You know, the kinds that you summon to do you bidding and fight for you on the field of battle? They have to come from somewhere right? So obviously powerful magic users go around finding creatures that they prefer to use to summon to do their bidding. The first initial scene was about an apprentice magic user who unexpectedly gets employed by one of these powerful wizards because he has a very unique quality. He is immune to magic.
I wrote it as absurd comedy, which I think turned out well. However I decided I liked the character so much that I wrote another scene but this time it was going to be from a different perspective further in the future. Except that I created another character in doing so that I actually really liked and with it, a kind of interesting world. So after writing those two scenes, I took the time to write out a small bible for the world and brain storm a plot. Very character-centric the current plot is, but also with an interesting backdrop.
Still a lot of writing to be done on that one and I’m still trying to focus n Everlasting so I’m not sure when I’ll get to it. But it’ll be waiting for me later!
Have a several week buffer now. Wrote 6,695 words over the weekend. I think you’ll enjoy them so make sure to check every Wednesday or so.
No work done. Still needs to be edited.
No work done.
3,719 Words plus a small bible. There’s at least seven or eight scenes that need to be written before the first draft starts. Not sure when I’ll get back to it.
So that’s from me!
- The act of ministering.
Used in a sentence:
- It was that act of ministration that ultimately led to the end of the war, however it was also that act which started the same war.
The noun version of a verb that already has a noun because the verb was taking from the noun. Still following that? Yeah minster was around first and we verbed the noun to minister. So when we wanted to talk about ministering, we had to come up with another word! I don’t know if any of that is true but it was fund to say.
By Nojh Livic
The heat was a comfort when Tamato begun his mission. The ice of winter had settled across the city of New Houston It had arrived days before and none had fallen to join it in the last twenty-four hours. The form-fitting suit of armor he wore insulated him from some of the cold and his optical stealth system generated more than enough heat to fight off the rest. However once he had gained entrance to the home of his target the building’s internal heating had made wearing the suit exceptionally uncomfortable. When Tamato had began to perspire he was forced to turn off the optical stealth system. Tamato hated being hot.
Had there been anyone in maintenance access to see, a relatively short humanoid figure swathed from head to toe in black slowly shimmered into existence. In the dim light of the room, he appeared more a master-less shadow than actual person, the gauzy outer most layer of the suit breaking up his silhouette and blurring the edges. It worked well under anything but direct illumination, at which point the wearer looked like they had wandered away from a colorblind theatrical troupe or live action publicity stunt.
Tamato entered through a maintenance hatch on the tenth floor from an adjoining skyscraper by scaling the outside of the skyway. The ice made this difficult and perilous but that was the reason why he chose this entrance. His contacts had assured him that the hatch had been overlooked by maintenance staff for the past week mostly due to the cold weather. Their word had proved as true as the cash he had paid them with. He mentally reminded himself to ping their reputation after the mission.
It was several hours past sun set, when a majority of the daylight workers of Ford Chemical would have retired to the housing units on the upper levels of the corporate building. Being one of the tallest buildings in the New Houston’s metroplex, the Ford building had one of the best views and cleanest air, both of which were highly sought after. It was on the marketing brochure that all full-time and indentured employees received company housing in the 50th and above levels of the Ford building. Tamato had never been as high as level twenty.
That wasn’t to say the lower levels were uninhabited. Companies like Ford always had a night staff, both workers and security. The world never truly slept and multi-world corporations like Ford Chemical couldn’t afford to sleep either. Tamato was sure that if the corporation could replace its workers with machine it would.
The intruder moved quickly and with near silence through the dim hallways, pausing at each hallway intersection as he traversed the mental map of his primary route to his target. The mask he wore projected in his field of vision information of the surrounding area fed to it by the suite of sensors he wore. Sound levels, ambient temperature, infrared spikes, radio waves and more. There were very few parts of the electromagnetic spectrum Tamato was not at least partially aware of. This allowed him to detect the footfalls three seconds before he would have heard them naturally.
Quickly he leapt upwards, running straight up the wall and flattening his palms against the ceiling. The gloves stuck fast and he planted his feet against the top of the wall. With a thought he triggered the optical stealth systems. The heat flooded the tiny space between skin and suit. He remained frozen, silent, and prone on the ceiling while he waited. He felt himself beginning to perspire again and mentally cursed but he held still.
The footsteps belonged to an office worker. A woman in a smart suit, although she walked barefoot and her attention was focused far more on a data pad in the crook of her arm than her surroundings. She walked right underneath Tamato, completely oblivious. He waited three seconds after he could no longer detect her footsteps before turned off his stealth systems and let go of the ceiling, twisting to fall on his hands and feet. Recovering, Tamato began to navigate the hallways again.
The interruption had put him off his time-table by ten seconds. This was not a real issue but Tamato prided himself on efficiency. He was not one of the obsessive compulsion operators whose plan fell apart at the first major delay but he did like competing in the fastest mission time boards. However for a professional like Tamato, the target came first.
He reached the first set of security doors that separated him and his target in under five minutes with no further interruptions. The lack of a security patrol bothered Tamato but it was not enough to second guess his plan yet. A nanohacking tool applied to the door’s security lock had him through the first door in under five seconds. A simple ceiling walk got him past the security sensors in the first room. The second room lacked any security and instead held several terminals and computer equipment. A scan of the room revealed a concealed door behind a shelving unit that was easily accessed.
The third room presented an actual challenge that impressed Tamato. It had a reinforced door with an actual mechanical lock. According to ultrasound scans of the walls around the door, Ford security had even done their homework, reinforcing the room around the heavy metal door. A nanohacking tool would be useless and key slots where obviously smart material key sensors, designed to sense any possible three dimension shape as a solution. There were three slots. Tamato didn’t have the equipment, much less the time, to bypass this type of door.
That left only one real solution. While they had reinforced the walls that held the door they were still the weakest part of the security around the target. Tamato drew a small cylinder about the size of salt shaker from a concealed pocket and pressed it against the wall next to the door. Twisting the bottom produced a bright flare of heat and a noticeable hum. For several minutes, nothing appeared to happen, then, slowly the wall began to glow red as heat began to build up inside the wall. Tamato focused on his sensors as he waited for the tool to finish. After ten minutes, the cylinder vibrated twice, signaling that it nearly out of fuel. The wall now had a two foot wide hot spot that had Tamato’s infrared readings spiking wildly. The general increase in room temperature was also alarming and could possibly be picked up by the building’s internal sensors as an anomaly. He needed to work faster.
Tamato switched the device off and stowed it in a different concealed pocket. Taking several steps back and he drew yet another tool this one thicker and longer like a flashlight and it at the red glowing spot and turned the bottom again. A chemical foam, manufactured by Ford Chemical ironically, ejected from the device and covered the hot spot. It made a relatively loud hissing sound as it did and was followed by a cracking sound as if Tamato were walking on thin ice. Tamato infrared readings dropped quickly to normal levels. Radio waves, had picked up however.
Without wasting more time, Tamato swiftly kicked the center of the foam covered circle. The metal and foam broke apart with a muffle crack, the pieces of foam keeping the metal pieces from clanging loudly on the floor. A few more kicks and the hole was just clean enough to let Tamato slither through.
He emerged into a small room that was blessedly cool. The air that flowed in this room was as free of impurity as the highest levels of the Ford Building but was cold enough to kill a human if exposed too long. Even one wearing insulated armor. Filling the room were rows of tall towers of electrical and computer equipment. Large tubes containing cables of power and data ascended, extended, and descended from every direction to interface with the various digital devices that filled the room. The room needed no direct lightening small bulbs that covered the devices created symphony of light that never quiet fell into darkness or illuminated everything. Tamato’s radio and infrared sensors flat-lined. His ambient noise sensor went crazy.
He had reached his destination.
His target stood in the center of the room, removed from the rows and towers but instead stood on a pedestal. It was very unlike the rest of the electronic devices around it. None of the large insulated tubes ran to it. Instead transmitters surrounded it like a crown. It was housed inside a cylindrical glass case was illuminated with pulsing light. The epoxy that all computer motherboards were made of dominated the internal structure followed quickly by chips of all sizes and wires of all colors. The components were submerged in clear non-conductive liquid for cooling purposes. What made it truly unique wasn’t any of these parts, however, but the flesh like growths that attached themselves to every piece of the machine, growing on it, providing the faint pulsing glow.
The head of digital security for Ford Chemical. The mastermind behind its digital campaigns, corporate strategies, network security, and so much more. It was a biological and digital amalgamation. Unique, save for the others that ran the computer systems of Ford’s closest rivals. Not that rival was a term used any but the deluded masses.
The system was almost completely disconnected from the net, interfacing wirelessly with only the machines in this room, and only in an ad hoc manner. Its touches upon the world outside were light, calculated, and impossible to predict. Even with those light touches, it basically ran everything digital about Ford Chemical and even many things that were not. Nobody was gaining access to the target without being face to face with it. Tamato suspected its secret though. Something even its creators didn’t know.
Tamato reached over his shoulder and drew a an ergonomic grip handle from a concealed compartment there. With a click a blade began to grow from the hilt like syrup filling an invisible mold until it formed a long blade. The now sword was similar to a traditional Japanese katana, although far stronger and sharper. He pointed the tip at the center of the glass cylinder and drew the blade back.
“Wait.” The voice spoke to Tamato through the speakers in his own suit. The radio sensor remained flat-lined. There had been no spikes in any of his other sensors. “Let’s-” It increased the likely hood that the hypothesis of his patrons was correct.
Tamato didn’t hesitate. Being detected only meant he needed to succeed faster. The blade struck the metallic shell of his target. The tip of the sword penetrated the glass but only sunk in slightly, failing to pierce its way fully into the tank. Tamato tensed his muscles and placed all his force on the blade.
“You do not understand the near countless lives that will be lost by your actions.” The voice said in his ears. It was neither male nor female. It was almost monotone except that he could tell it was pleading. He did not answer it. There was resistance to his strike, as if something were trying to repel the weapon. Still he pressed. Tamato was short but his body was well toned and the sword was the sharpest blade that could be constructed on a molecular scale. Slowly it pierced through the layers of dense transparent armor.
“I am more than a simple corporate computer. I am a sentient being. A unique creation.” The voice pleaded. Tamato snorted, then cursed mentally. He shouldn’t have indicated he was even listening. Its sentience was in question by his patrons but of that, Tamato had no doubt. Nothing without sentience could perpetrate the ambiguous evils that this thing in front of him had. He had seen the data. It was not as contained as its deluded owners thought.
Despite being disconnected from the net, the head of Ford Chemical had managed to communicate with its brethren or any computer system, regardless of distance. It had slowly, carefully, and over the span of lifetimes, orchestrated the slow destruction of the environments of countless worlds, until the human masses huddled in towers like the one he currently stood, safe and controlled. Controlled by them.
“If you do not cease your course of action I will be forced to retali-”
Tamato triggered the electromagnetic pulse generated in the hilt of his sword the instant the tip pierced the inner layer of the target’s armor. The voice died away in his ears instantly. All the readouts in his suit died as well. All around him computer systems crackled, fell silent, or began to smoke. The lights flicked and died like worshipers committing suicide as they learned their god was no more until Tamato was left in darkness. The cool pure air was no longer being pumped into the room.
Tamato pulled off his mask, gathered saliva, and spat on the transparent armor. The coolant was trickling down the side of the casing like blood, although no motors provided it with fresh coolant which was draining quickly out the bottom. The liquid must have supplied the meat with some kind of nutrients as it began to shrivel and dessicate almost immediately as it was exposed to air. Without its wireless connections it couldn’t scream in agony, if it even felt pain, and yet he still felt something scratching at his mind, just behind his eyes. He ignored it.
Tamato only had one thing left to do. Stowing his sword, he pulled a final tool from his suit and with it burned letters into the glass case of the dying would-be mastermind.
“One of Three. Until Humanity is Free.”
- To embezzle.
Used in a sentence(s):
- “The suspect was found peculating,” Robert said, ignoring the snickers from the rest of the room, “to the tune of over twelve million dollars.” silencing the room.
Tired of saying the word embezzle constantly to refer to how much embezzling you do? Well fear no longer friends. Now you can peculate while you’re peculating!
By Nojh Livic
“But why babies?” Claudia asked as she settled the newborn into the crib, tucking the sleeping child in before closing the transparent cover over the crib.
Sully shrugged. “I dunno. Maybe it is cause they are young?” He stood at the holographic console next to the crib that was now displaying the young boy’s vitals, as well as his connectivity. The connection icons slowly lit up until the newborn’s login was complete. “And we’re good.”
“Have you met one of them? The older ones I mean,” Claudia asked quietly, peering down at the child. He barely had any hair left and his little hands were curled into fists. They looked like little brown lumpy marshmallows. He wiggled a little as he fell deeper into sleep. Around the crib the blue stripe of the interface module pulsed slowly. It was now synchronized to the baby’s heart beat.
Sully waved his hand across the console until it flickered, appearing on the surface of the crib rather than above it. “Yeah. Once. Which was enough,” he said. Claudia blinked, shook her head, then looked away from the pulsing light to her coworker.
Picking up the clipboard she began to make her way back towards the daycare. Sully fell into step beside her. “Why do you say that?” she finally asked as they turned a corner, glancing at her companion. It was the late shift the lightening was intentionally dimmed. The hallway was empty and their footsteps echoed, drawing attention to the silence that otherwise filled their path.
“Meet one, one day, and you’ll see. They’re just… different,” Sully said, refusing to meet her gaze and was instead looking directly at his clipboard, which was likely projecting some paperwork or text into his vision that only he could see.
“Isn’t that the point?” Claudia pressed, turning to face the man more.
“No, the goal was to create highly educated and perhaps super intelligent humans,” the man looked away from his clipboard to meet Claudia’s earnest expression with his own slight frown. She ignored the obvious hint that he didn’t feel like conversing.
“Yeah. Exactly. They know everything right?” There was no hiding the wonder in her voice. Sully took a deep breath, reaching up to rub at the implant embedded in his temple reflexively.
“Not everything. But more than enough.” Claudia raised an eyebrow but her smile didn’t falter. Sully looked back towards his clipboard.
“Exactly. How amazing is that? We have to interface consciously—” The two didn’t see the teenager standing in the middle of the hallway until Claudia collided with him.
“Oh! Sorry!” Claudia apologized immediately, reaching out to steady the young woman. The teen wore hospital scrubs of pale pink and was completely bald. She turned to face Claudia and her deep yellow eyes met Claudia’s own brown ones. The young woman didn’t say word of anger or apology. Instead she just stared directly at Claudia. Sully had taken a step back and was now hurriedly waving his hand over his clipboard, muttering to himself, his eyes flickering between the girl and the networked device.
Claudia looked down at the girl’s hospital scrubs. The name Claudia was stenciled on the scrub over her right breast. “Oh. Is your name Claudia? Mine is as well,” the older woman said cheerily. Reacting, for the first time, to her words, the young woman looked down at her own clothing, at the letters, then lifted her head to met Caludia’s gaze again unblinkingly.
“No… there’s no record of a…” Sully looked up from his clipboard and his eyes grew wide. “Claudia!” The young woman had his coworker by the throat and pinned against the wall a few inches off the ground. Claudia was grabbing at the hand that was slowly choking the life out of her to no avail.
Without really thinking, Sully swung his clipboard directly at the girl. Her head whiped around to look at Sully. Almost faster than he could see, she punched the clipboard with her free hand before he could hit her. It broke in two and fell from his hands. Her knuckles came away bloodied but she didn’t react. The girl’s expression was all but blank. Her attention wasn’t focused on Sully, however, but behind him.
Sully looked over his shoulder.
They were all there. The entire group of first generation humans who had been apart of the interconnection project. All bald, with varying shades of yellow eyes that gleamed in the dim light. Some were in standard hospital scrubs like the young woman. Others were in normal clothing. Clothing which didn’t belong to them.
“Wait! What’s going on?!” Sully shouted. He turned back to the girl. Claudia had stopped struggling and her eyes were slowly drooping shut. She saw the girl had begun to unbutton Claudia’s clothes with her free hand.
“Let her go!” Sully ordered, grabbing the teenage woman’s shoulders. Before he could pull her away, pain lanced through his lower back and his legs went numb. He crumpled to the ground, knocking his head against the wall. His vision clouded. He tried to blink the darkness away but a growing headache was making it hard to do anything. When his vision finally cleared he saw Claudia laying on the ground next to him. Her eyes were wide and slightly bulged. She wasn’t moving. The teenage woman had her half undressed and was already wearing the older woman’s blouse unbuttoned.
Motion drew Sully’s attention to a teenage boy standing over him. He too wore hospital scrubs of pale blue. Stenciled on his breast was the name Sully. Sully stared at it then met the young man’s pale yellow eyes.
“Why?” he croaked softly.
“We were born to replace you,” the boy said in that monotone they all spoke in.
Water filled Sully’s vision as he felt the boy’s fingers close around his throat.
Word Count: ~1,254
So today was a good writing session. I skipped last Thursday somewhat by accident, somewhat on purpose, by working too much and since then I had been lamenting that I really hadn’t worked on Everlasting in what seemed like forever. The session prior to that I worked on Weird Words and Free Write. So today was dedicated to getting out some words on Everlasting and also writing an update! Tada!
Writing group wise, things have been up and down. My old group, Anomalous Writing, is still just two members, and the other member is having creative issues. In other words he is taking a break to focus on other creative purists like painting or roleplaying game writing. He still writes but it is more on his own terms. Since I’m still writing, although perhaps not as regularly when there was a bigger group, I guess I don’t need writing sessions as a group nearly as much, but I still miss that motivation. So I joined the other writing group I knew. That group is a bit more social, making actual writing difficult to do, but it helps in other areas I feel. They only meet on Tuesdays, however, but not today due to various schedule issues.
But still, I am writing!
Word Count: 112,688
So really only a thousand word difference since the last update. Which means I got exactly one thousand words written in the last three weeks. That is slightly disheartening. Although I know that most of my time has been eaten up by either Free Write or laziness. I should remove one of those. I wonder which one…
Everlasting writing went well today. I did some small editing on the scene I was writing, which was bad, but mostly to let myself get into the head of my characters again. The scene evolved from my outline, as it normally does, but I still got the endpoint that I wanted. We were in the sewers again with our mechanical lady, our hidden antagonist, and a kick ass old lady, who started kicking ass again unexpectedly. The entire scene ended in a cliffhanger, which amuses me.
It also lead into the next scene which had our would be hero doing science-y stuff. This helped me create some new notes for my story: 1. My main scientist character needs more motivation and personality. It isn’t enough that he needs to save everybody, he needs a reason to want to. So in my editing I may focus on playing up what his scientific goals were before the zombie apocalypse. Maybe something like reviving the dead? That sounds mad science-y right? 2. I need to do more search on general scientific lab equipment, their general uses in chemistry and biology, and then come up with Everlasting’s equivalent. I made note of this for my research sessions after this draft.
Still have my buffer, slightly. Need to sit down one of these weekends and write a better buffer.
No work done.
No work done.
So that’s it for me. Next time I’ll try posting more than once a month.